Saturday, March 16, 2013

Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Pouch Jello Bars

My sister made BANGIN' chocolate chip cookie bars for her favors last week at her wedding. Brides out there- go with the favor that's food. Always. Unless you're Oprah and can give every guest his or her own engraved iPad, I think it should be food or drink. But what do I know?

When I came across her favors, I was starving. My MOH duties were done and I had a sleeping baby in my arms. Dinner was underway, my entire table was in line for the delicious buffet. For the record Dad, I thought the beef was better.

So, Royboy was deeply snoozing. I scarfed down this treat. It was the equivalent of finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

They were awesome, so I was disappointed I only got to have one. Subsequently I've been day-dreaming about them all week.

Also a problem all week? Mercury has been in retrograde. While transferring five years worth of pictures onto an external hard drive, I accidentally deleted seven years worth of documents from my computer. I sent wrongs dates to my field hockey team not once, but THREE times. I also didn't finalize my grocery order and got a load of stuff I did't intend because I didn't pay close enough attention to the drop dead order time (or....mercury.)

So, I dug around the cabinets and made my own. She made cake mix chocochip bars, I went this route. Bon appetite.

1 pouch Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie mix
1 3.4 oz vanilla Jello pudding mix
1 stick butter
1 egg
2 TBSP brown sugar
1/3 cup extra chocolate chips....because. I had these laying around- not necessary, but why not?
4 TBSP water
squirts of olive oil.

Preheat oven to 350.
Cream soften (NOT MELTED.) butter and egg.
Stir in Jello, pouch of cookies, brown sugar, extra chips, water.

I was using my stand mixer and the dough was sticking to the paddle- so I squirted in single squirts on olive oil until that shizz loosened. I keep my oil in a 16oz. all purpose Sprayer from ACE hardware. wuuuuuut.

Grease 9x12- I used coconut oil- and spread the dough around with your fingers or a spoon if you're afraid you'll lick too much off your fingers.

30 mins in the oven. BAM.

You should probably let them set and cool...but I didn't because I'm an animal when it comes to cookies. I burnt the roof of my mouth.

They're good. And chewy.

A few notes- my sister shared with me the more brown sugar, the chewier the cookie bar. More white sugar, the crispier. Listen to this. She bakes cup cakes and shit for cash.

If you cheat and melt the butter in the microwave you risk overcooking and then burning the cookies, or bars or whatever you're baking because they won't set from the melty butter. Then you'll be an animal, like me, and refuse to throw away burnt cookies and be sad about it the whole time but still eat them anyway because WHO THROWS AWAY COOKIES?! Not me! Digression. This is also a sister tip. Have I mentioned she went to culinary school?

YOLO. St. Pat's.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I was feeling pretty emotional last week. Gram got sick when I was in Florida and I didn't visit her until last week because we all were taking turns with the stomach flu.

I was feeling a certain kind of way about it since when olds go into the hospital with pneumonia they don't often come out. She seems to be on the mend but I was really jarred by it all. When I talked with mom after the social worker planning meeting she explained that right now, it's unlikely that grandmom will be able to live on her own- so that means either 24 hour care or nursing home. She's not terminal so we're only left with a few choices.

This isn't a shock. She's 93. But it's still hard.

I went to visit her right away. I was coming from work and was going to spend lunch with her so I stopped at the grocery store to get lunch. I picked a lane to check out that looked like it was the least crowded- I wanted to maximize my time with her. But the little man in front was rearranging his basket. Then he was rebagging things. Then he was digging for his money.

I was starting to feel anxious.

He was counting out his money. His bill was $114 and some change. He only had $55. He started digging in his change purse for more. Didn't have enough. The cashier was getting frustrated and was raising her voice- not out of anger but the way people do to people who don't speak the same language.

He got a little mad the way older men do when they're embarrassed- barked at her, what do you want me to do?

She was going to start rescanning things and get him back to $55 and change but then I got choked up. Grandmom would NEVER let me pay for her. Even for Christmas if I get her something, she returns the favor with some kind of check, grocery store gift card, a box of candy- or just plain money.

But this guy- he was a stranger.

I asked the cashier if she knew anything about him- he got there on community transit, she sees him from time to time. He didn't seem like he had much of a clue about what was going on so I told her I was going to pay. I wanted him to have his six packs of store-brand soda pop and BOGO Entenmann's chocolate donuts with a little less grief. I don't have $50 to throw around all the time but I was feeling sad about Gram so I did it in her honor...and then ran to cry in my car.

I told her about it...she offered to pay me back.

Here's a video of her talking about her mother- she lived most of her life trying to please her...